is it funny or is it tragic? the coincidence, i mean: a few days back, a friend of mine living in Vienna and the captain of the vienna metroblog, philipp wrote to me (almost simultaneously) about the flag debate going on in vienna and both asked if i would write about it on the istanbul metroblog. to sum it up:
feridun zaimoglu, a turkish author/artist living in germany, wrapped the facade of the art museum kunsthalle in vienna with turkish flags within the scope of an exhibition called “Islam and the West”. He named his installation kanak attack and subtitled it “the third turkish siege”. Mr. Strache of The Freedom Party of Austria immediately took action and declared that he was articulating the thoughts of the Viennese people with his words “Vienna must not become Istanbul” (bonus question: Exactly when and under which circumstances does a city become another city? When is a city’s becoming fulfilled?) Next you see the ad produced for the campaign of Mr. Strache, placed all over the city. He demands the resignation of the director of the museum and declares that he should pay for the installation himself with another genuinely designed slogan: “no taxes for the turkish tent”. local blogs about the debate can be read here and here.
The next day, i wake up to read in a local paper about a campaign urging people to hang turkish flags all over Turkey. Why? Because three days ago during the Newroz (the spring fest) celebrations some people have burnt the Turkish flag. This is an opportunity to signal our love for the country and the national flag, the campaigners say. Most of the people in the neighbourhood have done it, and as the Turkish media reports, now there are turkish flags all over Istanbul. Greetings to Mr. Strache, there are many people thinking along the same lines with you here in Istanbul. Istanbul has become Vienna and it gives me the creeps.
Update: Also check out the latest entry about this on the Vienna metroblog for a witty aspect on the whole thing.